Thranduil has arranged this
Chapter 6: At the King's feet.
this page added by Gabby 7-21-05
Faramir and the Prince approached the regal elf. The King was sprawled across the magnificently carved throne that sat on a dais a few steps higher than the rest of the torch-lit chamber. Beside him stood two elves whispering together; both noble-looking blonds dressed in rich embroidered robes. One bore a distinct likeness to both Legolas and Thranduil, and Faramir took him to be another son.
At last, the king said, "Well?" Following Legolas’ lead, Faramir bowed his head.
"My father, I bring you the son of Denethor.” Then Legolas delivered a shove to the middle of Faramir’s back, propelling the man roughly onto his knees.
Thranduil raised his eyebrows with curiosity and arose, his elegant brocade robes swishing as he stepped down, and he regarded the man on the floor. He lifted Faramir’s chin, and then let it drop before walking around him once, inspecting him carefully. He stepped in front of his son.
“I don’t believe this is Boromir, son of Denethor. I think perhaps you have brought Faramir, the younger, instead.” Thranduil placed his bejeweled hand lightly on the crown of Faramir’s head, tousling his tawny hair a bit, almost with affection.
Faramir listened to Legolas’ exacerbated sigh and stammered reply; “Father… this is, this is Boromir, I am quite certain of it.”
“Quite certain you say? But Boromir would be approximately five or six years older and a bit stouter. In all likelihood he would be carrying the Horn of Gondor.” As the elves spoke, Faramir anxiously glanced up and noted the look of reproachful challenge on the older elf’s face and Legolas’ humiliated fluster.
“I must say I am fairly surprised considering Dorlion was accompanying you. He did accompany you, did he not?” asked the King matter-of-factly while glancing at the elves standing behind his son.
Legolas did not answer, but turned beet-red with humiliation.
“He was with you the whole time, wasn’t he?” Thranduil again asked. While he spoke, he continued to move his hand across Faramir’s face, caressing the man’s jaw and cheek with his knuckles.
“Yes he was, ada.”
“Well… let’s just ask him then.” He turned to the other elves. “Dorlion, please come here.” The dark-haired elf who’d accompanied them from Ithilien stepped forward.
“I am curious. This man, while similar in appearance to Boromir, does not quite fit the description carried to my ears by my most excellent spies. But you, Dorlion, would be in the best position to tell us since you claim to have lain with Boromir when your scouting parties camped together last year.” The King arched his eyebrow and looked to the dark-haired elf. “Is this the man who’s body you allegedly enjoyed?”
“No my lord, I am quite certain this is Faramir, the younger son.”
“I… see,” Thranduil answered while nodding. He spun around and once more seated himself on his throne. “What about you, man? What is your name? Are you Boromir, oldest son of Denethor, Steward of Gondor?”
“No, I am Faramir.” He kept his eyes down and remained kneeling.
Following this declaration there was several minutes of silence in the chamber. Thranduil sat, leaning forward, his elbow on his knee and head resting inside his palm. He stared fixedly at Faramir, only occasionally looking away to cast irate glances at Legolas and Dorlion.
Eventually, he leaned back. “I suppose the next logical question would be; why was he brought here and not Boromir?”
“It is my fault father,” Legolas answered. “Dorlion insisted this was not Boromir, but I didn’t believe him. I… I… I thought I heard one of the other rangers calling this man ‘Boromir’—and he fit the description closely enough!”
“NOT closely enough, you mean.” Thranduil’s voice was finally beginning to betray some of the anger he felt. “You are telling me that the word of my trusted advisor, who has had recent intimate contact with Boromir, was not good enough for you to determine this man’s identity. Instead you choose to rely upon something you thought you heard when poking around outside their camps?”
“I am sorry, ada.”
“Sorry,” Thranduil repeated, and then remained silent for several seconds. “So tell me Legolas, what am I going to do with him? He has no power to sign treaties on the behalf of Gondor, as does his brother, so he is of little use to us outside of any sort of amusement we might be able to derive. I can’t just release him for he will run back home and warn his brother that elves are out to abduct him.”
“I don’t know,” Legolas answered ashamedly. “Perhaps we can force Boromir to come here to retrieve him or hold him for ransom?”
“No I don’t think Denethor will pay much to get him back. It would be a surprise if he even notices he is missing.”
“My Liege,” Dorlion interrupted, “regretfully we were observed when we abducted Faramir. We meant to steal the Steward’s son under cover of night, but Legolas was spotted and approached. The Ithilien Rangers were about to arrest him when we stepped in to prevent it. They are fully aware Faramir was abducted. We tried to conceal our identities but unfortunately arrows were exchanged, and the Gondorians will easily be able to assay they are of Elvish make.”
Thranduil let his face fall into his opened palm. “That’s brilliant,” he answered. “Just brilliant.” He rose from his seat and quickly strode to where Legolas waited. Faramir remained kneeling directly below them as the King leaned in and hurriedly whispered in his son’s ear. “Legolas, until further notice your duties are restricted to palace guard. But that is not all; come to my rooms tonight after I dismiss the court—I am not nearly finished with your punishment.” Faramir observed a shiver run through Legolas’ body at these words, while the King’s lips curled into a menacing smirk.
“My Liege, if I may interrupt,” Dorlion again spoke. “I took the liberty of sending a message to Boromir asking him to rendezvous with me at an inn in a small town in Anórien. With your permission I would like to arrange to have him kidnapped then by members of our elite guard.”
“Excellent idea Dorlion. I know you and your handpicked guards won’t fail me this time.”
“No my Liege, I will not fail you. My meeting is with Boromir in one week. Hopefully he will not be suspicious and fail to show up.”
“I am sure your widely regarded charms and talents will prove adequate incentive for the man to overcome any qualms he might have given his brother’s disappearance.” He dismissed Dorlion with a wave of the back of his hand.
“Now there the matter remains what to do with this one.” Thranduil again threw himself back into his throne chair and leaned forward. He tapped his boot against the stone floor while his eyes bore into the still-kneeling man. “If we are successful in bringing Boromir here, and he agrees to our terms, his brother could be released. However there remains the outside possibility he won’t so easily accept our terms. Or we may want to keep Faramir as an incentive for his continuing cooperation.”
One of the elves with long blond hair who had all along been standing beside the King’s throne stepped up and whispered into Thranduil’s ear. A smile grew on the King’s face. He began to nod in agreement while staring thoughtfully at Faramir.
“That is a very good idea Orchaldir, indeed since my man pet died thirty years ago I have very much longed to find another.”
“M-m-m… m-ma ma !” Faramir body began to shake but he could not quite form words to protest his proposed fate. Instead only garbled syllables spilled from his throat.
“I did not give you leave to speak mortal!” Thranduil responded. “Another outburst like that and you will be gagged.” He turned back to the blond, the one who did not bear the family resemblance. “Orchaldir, see to it that Faramir is given a leash and a collar… and a water dish with my crest upon it. And see to any other necessary preparations—you know how I like my man pets trained and groomed. Tomorrow we will see how soon he can be ready to sit at my feet while I hold audience.”
The blond nodded respectfully to the King. “Aye my Liege.”
What happens next?
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